Nasser Hussain has praised Angelo Mathews for smashing an unbeaten century on the first day of the second Sri Lanka-England Test match in Galle. The former English skipper also feels the all-rounder is a "pretty smart cricketer".
Angelo Mathews came to bat when his side were in a spot of bother at 7-2. The right-handed batsman steadied the ship and took Sri Lanka to safety. Mathews scored an unbeaten 107 as the hosts ended Day 1 at 229-4. Writing in his column in the Daily Mail, Hussain wrote:
"Things could easily have gone pear-shaped for Sri Lanka and if they had been bowled out for anything less than 250 it was game over. But one thing about Mathews is he reads situations incredibly well. He's a pretty smart cricketer. In fact, when he wasn't smart on the first day of the series, Sri Lanka folded. Here, alongside fellow senior player Dinesh Chandimal, his response was just right."
Nasser Hussain also praised the 117-run partnership between skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews as they kept the scoreboard moving.
"They both soaked up pressure, but didn't just block. When the opportunity was there to hit the spinner over the top, they took it, and that forced Joe Root to push his field back," Hussain wrote.
Hussain also talked about how the present generation Sri Lankan batsmen have been guilty of throwing their wickets away and not scoring big hundreders.
"The Sri Lanka side I played against had batsmen blessed not only with the talent but brains, too. When they got starts, they went big and scored hundreds.That's what they're lacking now. They're not missing out on talent with the bat — I'm not so sure the same could be said with the ball — but they're not always smart. So it was nice to see Mathews batting time, seeing off spells from Anderson and Wood, and still there at the close," Hussain added.
Angelo Mathews' Test record
Angelo Matthews' career has been plagued with injuries, with the 33-year-old missing the recent South Africa tour due to a hamstring issue. The former Sri Lanka captain was a genuine all-rounder when he started his journey in international cricket. But now, he primarily plays as a pure batsman for the island nation.
Discounting the ongoing Test, Angelo Mathews has represented Sri Lanka in 87 Tests, scoring 6079 runs at an average of 45.36. He has 10 centuries and 36 half-centuries to his name. On the bowling front, Matthews has picked up only 33 wickets in the longest format of the game.